Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the upcoming reboot to the legendary franchise, releasing in just a few weeks. Despite being the sixteenth entry into the Call of Duty series, it seeks to refresh the Modern Warfare sub-series and bring new ideas to the table. Whether this refresh will be successful in satisfying veteran fans and bringing in new players remains to be seen. However, many morsels of information have been revealed by the developers or leaked to the CoD public, providing a decent view of what’s to come.
From cross-platform play to new game modes, this iteration of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare promises a lot of new material. The developer Infinity Ward describes it as a “re-imagining” of the franchise, indicated by the lack of a “4” in the title of the fourth Modern Warfare game. However, classic style killstreaks as well as many other beloved mechanics are returning. A renewed focus on a compelling single-player campaign is heralded by many as a return to form for the franchise.
The developers have stated their intention to give players a campaign that focuses on tactical realism and moral choices. In a realistic, modern setting, players will need to make difficult decisions about who is an enemy or an innocent bystander. At the end of each mission, players will be scored based on the amount of collateral damage, with better rewards given to those who avoid injuring civilians. Players will need to make tactical decisions as well as moral choices, making use of different weaponry, night-vision goggles, and clever use of the surrounding environment. Characters from past games, namely Captain John Price, will return.
The story is set to portray a realistic version of the modern world, with character-based narratives and complex intrigue. This story is slated to include complex and possibly uncomfortable depictions of warfare and terrorism for a Modern Warfare title, in an attempt to make the game feel relevant and live up to the “modern” in Modern Warfare. The campaign will take place in Europe and the Middle East, and players will occupy the roles of not only special forces, but also guerilla-style freedom fighters.
Crossplay and Availability
Perhaps the most exciting new development in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is the availability of cross-platform play between PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4. This type of crossplay is something that gamers have been clamoring for for a long time, and a title of this size getting it is good tidings for all.
Crossplay in Modern Warfare will be opt-in, and will allow players to see a list of friends across all platforms. Crossplay will be available in all game modes except for ranked and competitive tournaments. Each players control scheme will be made visible in the game lobby, and players will be matched with the same control scheme as themselves by default. This filter can be removed manually, or when joining a group with a friend who has a different control scheme. Both console versions will also fully support keyboard and mouse, evening the playing field significantly.
The traditional season pass has been removed as well, in an attempt to make free content available to more players post-launch. Some people have critiqued the choice to close off availability of some features, however. PS4 will be the only platform to have the Spec Ops Survival mode for a full year after the game launches. While regular Spec Ops missions will be available for all players, locking a game mode to a single console will likely sting for many players.
New Multiplayer Game Modes
This Modern Warfare title will not have Treyarch's traditional Zombies mode, but Infinity Ward is bringing Spec Ops back, which will provide a co-op story that shares a plotline with the campaign and multiplayer game modes. The Spec Ops survival mode will only be available on PS4 for a full year after launch, severely limiting the co-op game modes for many players.
On the competitive front, at least seven game modes have been confirmed for Modern Warfare. These are Gunfight, Ground War, Realism, Cyber Attack, Headquarters, Domination, and Team Deathmatch. The multiplayer, like the singleplayer campaign, will focus more on tactical realism. The mini-map has been replaced with a compass marker, and the Realism mode will completely remove all player’s HUDs.
Perhaps the most interesting new game modes in Modern Warfare are Ground War and Gunfight. These two modes sit at opposite ends of the spectrum, with Ground War allowing up to 100 players at once, and Gunfight being a 2 vs. 2 game mode. Ground war will provide a Battlefield-esque large-scale experience focused on map exploration and cover. Conversely, Gunfight features only 40 second rounds and randomized weapons, with no revives or healing to keep the game intense and fast-paced.
As more and more news is revealed to the public, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is shaping up to be a successful refresh. By bringing back the deeper story-telling in the single-player Modern Warfare campaign at the same time and adding new multiplayer game modes, this title may prove to satisfy any FPS player who picks it up.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare releases October 25 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.